The Centre's integrated BSc offers medical students the opportunity
to study health and sickness in communities worldwide through all
periods of history from ancient times to today. Whether or not you have a
background in history, you will develop critical reading, writing and
thinking skills to interpret primary and secondary texts as well as
historical images and objects.
Students reading for the iBSc in History of Medicine must complete a total of six course units, which include two core courses and a compulsory dissertation. In 2012-2013 the courses will be as follows:
Dissertation, 1.5 units (compulsory)
Research projects will be original research, 10,000-15,000 words in length, developed from a topic of personal interest or a special area of expertise, and supervised by your personal tutor and programme tutor. You can see past iBSc History of Medicine research projects in the Wellcome Library
Medicine, disease and history, 0.5 unit (option)
This course addresses the changes and developments in Western medicine from the Ancient Greek world to 1700. The course will discuss the varieties of theory and practice of medicine, the understandings of the body and illness, and the historical contexts in which medicine can be understood in the pre-modern world, including classical Greek and Roman society, medieval Islamic and Western cultures, and Renaissance and early modern periods
Medicine and Modern Society, 0.5 unit (compulsory)
This course will explore the emergence of modern medicine from the 18th century to the present day in European society. It will assess how historians have interpreted the radical changes in the last 250 years of European medicine and the intellectual contexts in which they have done so. We will discover how the response of medical practitioners, institutions, legislators and the general public to health problems always reflected and at the same time contributed to changing social and cultural ideas and attitudes within contemporary European society. We will also see how historians are never the authors of their own thoughts
Madness and Society, 0.5 unit (option)
This course examines the ways in which deviant behaviour has been identified and controlled from the ancient world to the present. Topics include the witch hunts in Western Europe, the history of suicide, the rise of the asylum, mad monarchs, spies and visionaries, gendered madness, criminal insanity and degeneration, damaging the body, the growth of the psychiatric profession, Freud, Jung and anti-psychiatry, and the tensions between organic, analytical and sociological explanations of insanity
Disease in History, 0.5 unit (compulsory)
What is disease? How has our understanding of disease, and people's experiences of disease, changed over time? This course will give you some new and challenging ways to think about these questions. We will take specific diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, smallpox, plague, malaria and AIDS, and examine their social and medical impact during the past couple of centuries. In doing so, we will trace the interplay of scientific, clinical, social and moral judgements invested in 'framing' a disease
Brains, Nerves and Human Nature in the Modern Era, 0.5 unit (option)
The aim of the course is to survey topics in the history of psychology and neuroscience from the end of the 17th century to the 20th century. It also touches on some aspects of the applications of neuroscience in contemporary culture. Topics to be covered will include the rise of the cerebral body, 18th-century sensationalism, the phrenological legacy, Romantic psychology, cerebral localization, evolutionary neurology, experimental psychology in the 20th century, behaviourism and 'neuro-culture'
History of Asian Medicine, 0.5 unit (option)
Asian Medical History aims to provide knowledge of the background and development of key concepts and practices in the history of Chinese medicine, with a secondary focus on the history of Tibetan and/or Indian medicine. It will describe the transmission of these Asian medical systems and traditions to Europe and the reception of traditional medicines in the modern world. The course will give a broad historical perspective, while at the same time focussing on the social, cultural and political contexts of key times of medical innovation
Evolution in Science and Culture, 0.5 unit (option)
A historical survey of evolutionary thinking from the Enlightenment to the present. Content includes the history of scientific ideas and the context for those ideas. It also considers the influence of evolutionary ideas on society, and the reverse
UCL can no longer accept applications from medical students outside of UCL for entry to the IBSc year. For UCL students, follow this link for information about applying to take the iBSc in History of Medicine.